NXT pulled double duty this past weekend, as they not only had their own TakeOver special at WarGames 2019 but they were involved in the classic Survivor Series pay-per-view for the first time ever. The theme here was brand supremacy and which brand will come out on top. 10 matches took place with three on the pre-show and four matches […]
NXT pulled double duty this past weekend, as they not only had their own TakeOver special at WarGames 2019 but they were involved in the classic Survivor Series pay-per-view for the first time ever.
The theme here was brand supremacy and which brand will come out on top. 10 matches took place with three on the pre-show and four matches had titles on the line. In addition, two traditional Survivor Series elimination matches took place, with a twist being 5-5-5 style rather than just a five on five matches.
Here are my grades and quick thoughts on the matches.
Interbrand Tag Team Battle Royal – Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode (SmackDown) last eliminated The Street Profits (Raw) (pre-show)
The tag team battle royal was added just a few hours before the kickoff show began. The Forgotten Sons, Breezango, and Imperium represented NXT while Lucha House Party, Heavy Machinery, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, and The Revival represented SmackDown and Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins, The OC, and Street Profits represented the Raw brand.
It was what you expected in a battle royal, with a lot of clutter in the ring with teams trying to eliminate each other. NXT was taken out early but in the end, Roode threw out Montez Ford to seal the win. Outside of the high spot in Ford performing a frog splash from the top rope, nothing huge happened but the right team won here as Ziggler and Roode have been featured more recently as a legit tag team.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship – Lio Rush (c) (NXT) def. Akira Tozawa (Raw) and Kalisto (SmackDown) (pre-show)
Personally, I enjoyed this match but the crowd was simply not into it. This is mainly on WWE for not pushing the cruiserweights as much.
The effort was there and there were a few fun spots and give credit to the guys in the ring doing whatever they can to put on a show. Rush winning here makes sense, given the title is exclusive to NXT and he has been a role since winning the title a few weeks back.
With some sort of build here instead of throwing superstars together, this could have been better. Still, this was a solid match with the number of high-flyers.
The Viking Raiders (Raw) def. The New Day (SmackDown) and The Undisputed Era (NXT) (pre-show)
Easily the best match on the kick-off show that should have made the main card if we are being honest. A fun match with a lot of action in a fast-paced tag bout. Everyone had their chance to shine with Kofi Kingston, in particular, reminding us that he can still perform at a high level despite losing the WWE Championship so long ago. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly showed that they can go toe to toe with a lot of other teams on the “main roster” but Erik and Ivar showed us once again that they are still a dominant tag team.
This was a good match to get the fans excited for what’s to come later in the night.
Women’s Survivor Series elimination match – Team NXT wins w/ Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, and Io Shirai as the survivors
A solid match here given the number of superstars (15 total). Everyone had a chance to shine (including the likes of Sarah Logan and Dana Brooke). A lot of action here with teases of injuries and feud between the teams.
The real stars here were the NXT team, where some of the superstars put aside their differences from the night before to pull off the victory. Bianca Belair having back to back eliminations shows that the company is still high on her while Ripley looked like a star here.
Roderick Strong (NXT) def. AJ Styles (Raw) and Shinsuke Nakamura (SmackDown)
A match that met a lot of expectations. All three guys here are some of the best workers on the roster and it showed here.
A lot of chain wrestling and non-stop action between Styles, Nakamura, and Strong. The ending where Strong stole the pin from Styles was excellent heel work here and helped establish the NXT North American Champion as a legit threat.
NXT Championship – Adam Cole (c) def. Pete Dunne
Back to back A grades here. It is even more impressive after what the guys did just 24 hours prior, particularly Cole. Both guys were selling their beaten bodies from the night prior here but the action did not stop.
A ladder match Wednesday, going through multiple tables Saturday, and a hard-hitting match Sunday? Cole has really been on a tear lately and is in the conversation for Wrestler of the Year.
Universal Championship – “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) def. Daniel Bryan
By far The Fiend’s best match to date but it makes sense given how great Bryan is in the ring.
Bryan got a lot of offense in than what would you expect but The Fiend was not effected at all by this. Still, this was a great challenge that showed that Wyatt is a legit champion and it’ll be interesting to see what the plan is going forward for the Universal Champion heading into WWE’s next pay-per-view, TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs).
Men’s Survivor Series elimination match – Team SmackDown wins w/ Roman Reigns as the sole survivor
Despite the numbers of superstars in this match (15), the match was not cluttered and everything worked here. It was great to see matchups like Matt Riddle vs Shorty G, Keith Lee vs Braun Strowman, and Randy Orton vs Tommaso Ciampa for example.
Everyone got a chance here to shine but Lee was the star here. The fact that he pinned Seth Rollins here shows that WWE is very high on him. He had a great standoff with Reigns also but it was expected. Baron Corbin and Reigns clashing despite being on the same team worked well here but let’s hope their feud isn’t extended until the next PPV.
The only downside here was the use of the United Kingdom Champion in WALTER, who got very little offense in and was the first one eliminated in five minutes. WWE needs to push the NXT U.K. brand and that did not help at all. If you have ever seen the Ring General, you know he deserves better.
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) def. Rey Mysterio
Not a bad matchup here that had a huge tease that Mysterio was going to win the WWE Championship. The addition of Dominic and having him perform the 619 and Frog Splash with his father was a nice touching moment.
Of course, it was obvious that Lesnar was going to retain but props to Mysterio was showing that despite his age, he can still give you a great match.
Shayna Baszler (NXT) def. Becky Lynch (Raw) and Bayley (SmackDown)
Not a bad match to end the night but at times, it felt a little sloppy, which can be the case when it comes to a triple threat match. It was still a good one where it showed that the company is high on Shayna Baszler and the entire NXT roster as a whole, as this gave them the 4-2-1 victory to end Survivor Series.
The post-match where Lynch attacked the NXT Women’s Champion was a good call as it showed that she is still the best female superstar in the WWE.
I really enjoyed Survivor Series this year. Like I said in the predictions, the PPV needed some sort of change and adding the third brand in NXT was perfect here. Giving NXT four wins here shows that the brand is legit that has a lot of talent. Overall, a great pay-per-view that is worth a rewatch years down the line.